Wells Fargo & Company said it continues to use the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and other modification programs to prevent foreclosures in communities across the country. Nearly half a million Wells Fargo loan customers were provided with mortgage payment relief through active trial and completed modifications in 2009. As of Dec. 31, 2009, the company reported 118,708 active trial and completed Home Affordable Modifications, including 8,424 completed modifications, and approximately 350,000 non-HAMP modifications.
In the fourth quarter of 2009, Wells Fargo initiated or completed three modifications for every one foreclosure sale on owner-occupied properties, using both HAMP and other payment-relief focused modification efforts. This emphasis on mortgage modifications reflects the company’s continuing commitment to pursue all options to keep people in their homes as difficult economic conditions persist for customers and their communities.
“We continue to use every available tool to prevent foreclosures when a viable alternative exists, as that is in the best interest of our customers, our communities and our shareholders,” said Mike Heid, co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “Our objectives from the beginning have been to work to establish affordability for customers who are truly in need so that we can avoid foreclosures when possible. Our approach also considers the interests of the 92 percent of our customers who are current on their payments.”
Approximately 74,000 borrowers among the 118,708 HAMP active and completed modifications reported by Wells Fargo had made all three trial payments as of Dec. 31, 2009. Most of the borrowers who had not made three payments were not yet scheduled for their third payment. Based on its experience with Home Affordable Modifications that have had sufficient seasoning, Wells Fargo anticipates its modification efforts will break out as outlined below:
Borrowers who have made three HAMP trial payments as of 12/31/09
Completed modifications expected
Not eligible for HAMP after documents have been reviewed
Some required documents not provided
No required documents provided
“HAMP is the first option we consider when working with a customer who is experiencing a financial hardship, but any customer who does not qualify for a Home Affordable Modification is also considered for our own modification programs or other alternatives to foreclosure,” Heid noted.
Data showed that 92 percent of Wells Fargo’s customers remained current on their loans in the third quarter of 2009, and the company’s delinquency and foreclosure rates were two-thirds that of large servicers as a whole and the industry in total. In 2008 and 2009, fewer than two percent of the loans secured by owner-occupied homes and serviced by Wells Fargo proceeded to a foreclosure sale.
Wells Fargo has continued its aggressive outreach efforts to establish Home Affordable Modifications for eligible customers and to gather the required HAMP documents from its customers. The company makes multiple attempts via telephone, mail and other means to contact borrowers who have provided only partial documentation and has tested door-to-door efforts to secure documents from these customers. It also has increased its home retention staff by more than 8,000 people in 2009 – for a total of more than 15,000 U.S.-based staff – to manage the increase in home preservation efforts.
Economic conditions continue to change and those changes require new and different approaches to effectively help borrowers avoid foreclosure. Since last summer, Wells Fargo has provided input to the U.S. Department of Treasury on ways to improve HAMP. The company also continually works to update its own modification programs and develop new workout options.
For more information, visit www.wellsfargo.com.